How do you know if they learned anything?
Leadership skills fall under both the very concrete and very intangible categories. I can tell if you can stand up and clearly communicate a message. I can't necessarily tell if you have a deep empathy for those around you.
This is why we (the creators of the PLI leadership curriculum) developed the TRAX system. It is a simple, yet profound mechanism for measuring the seemingly immeasurable. Try this on the next time you are teaching/training/coaching leadership. You can use it at the first for you to determine how deep you plan on taking your group. It was built specifically for use at the end of a learning session to grade their leadership development.
The TRAX Grading System
T - Entry Level - The student demonstrates she has heard of the topic. Proof is a written description of the leadership skill using her own words.
R - Emerging Level - This level is reached when a student understands the content. He provides written positive and negative examples of the leadership trait in the real world. What would someone look/sound/feel like if she mastered this skill and if she were totally ineffective?
A - Engaged Level - This grade is given when a student demonstrates he actively lives the skill. He must provide written evidence of application.
X - Expert Level - Mastery level is shown when the student teaches the skill to someone else. The proof here is a written testimony from someone the student taught and/or actively led.
The beauty of the TRAX system is the journey it places in front of both the teacher and student of leadership: awareness leading to understanding leading to application leading to teaching.